Europe vehicle industry meeting emissions targets, report claims

Virtually all of the largest car and van manufacturers met European Union (EU) company-specific emissions targets in 2015, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has claimed.

The latest report from the EEA examines the CO2 levels of new passenger cars and vans in the EU last year based on laboratory tests following a standard European vehicle test protocol used for vehicle type-approval.

EEA claims that the report confirms preliminary findings published earlier this year showing that the EU as a whole is well below its average emissions target for the same year.

According to the research, new cars sold in the EU in 2015 released on average 119.5g CO2/km, 8% below the EU’s 130g CO2/km target for 2015. The average emissions from vans sold in 2015 was 168.3g CO2/km – already below the target of 2017 of 175g CO2/km.

When considering specific manufacturers, Toyota Europe, Renault, Peugeot and Citroen boast the lowest average CO2 emissions per vehicle. However, both Aston Martin Lagonda and Ferrari failed to meet their specific emissions targets, resulting in impending excess emission premiums.

The largest average emissions reductions were achieved by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Daimler AG, reducing average vehicle emissions by 14.4g CO2/km and 6.9g CO2/km respectively. Also, both manufacturers achieved the lowest emission reductions from vans.

Future EU targets including 147g CO2/km for vans by 2020 and 95g CO2/km for cars by 2021 will be met if the current rate of emissions reductions continues, according the report. 

Emissions controversy

The validity of the EEA specific emission figures has been called into question previously. The preliminary figures on vehicle carbon emissions figures for 2016 were labelled “hot air” by green transport group Transport & Environment (T&E), as the research reportedly did not reflect “the reality on our roads”.

EEA’s 2015 figures are based on laboratory test results measured under standardised laboratory conditions, following the requirements of the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). However, these results do not necessarily represent emissions on the road.

Following the ‘dieselgate’ controversy regarding Volkswagen’s corporate abasement for cheating emissions tests, many have remained sceptical of non-real world emissions tests. A year after the scandal, analysis from the Emissions Analytics (EA) revealed that new diesel cars are still emitting many times the official limit for polluting nitrogen oxides when driven on the road.

Alex Baldwin

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